Our role and the employer's role

WorkSafeNB's mandate is to develop health and safety legislation, to promote this legislation through whatever means we believe will be most effective, and, through its health and safety officers, to ensure that workplaces comply with the legislation.

Our role is to promote the awareness of new legislation and health and safety in general, while it is the employer's responsibility to ensure that their employees receive the necessary training to work safely.

In New Brunswick, employers have a
legal obligation under section 9 of the OHS Act to provide health and safety training to employees.

This section was developed to help ensure that you, as an employer, understand this legal obligation to train your staff on how to work safely and to help you find the resources to assist you with this training.

Below are answers to some of the most common questions we get asked on the topic of health and safety training.

Please contact us with any questions, comments or concerns.  

If you have a question that you would like included in this section, send us an email.

Let's look at some definitions that might help answer your question.

  • Education is a process of transferring knowledge or skills with the view of improving the understanding of a topic or competency that ultimately results in the change of attitude and behaviour. Education is a global concept that encompasses awareness, training and consulting, with the key word being global.

  • Awareness education is the transfer of information to provide a basic level of knowledge. An example of an awareness education would be sending an employee on a three-hour public workshop on WHMIS that simply focuses on what WHMIS is.

  • Training is defined as the transfer of skills to provide a defined level of competency. Using the example of WHMIS, once an employee has an awareness knowledge level of WHMIS, the next step is to give them training on how to work safely with the specific chemicals they will be exposed to. This is what can be referred to as hands-on training and is what is required by legislation.

  • While awareness knowledge is an important first step for employees, employees need the workplace-specific training to keep themselves safe. In the case of WHMIS, they need to fully understand the type of chemicals they will be working with and what precautions to take. They also need to understand where the company's MSDSs are kept, where the eye wash stations are, the organization's emergency procedures, etc.

  • Consulting is a process of assessing a situation, evaluating information and determining a solution to address a defined problem, assist in implementing the solution (as is necessary) and evaluating the outcome of the implemented solution.

Under the internal responsibility system (IRS), on which all health and safety legislation in Canada is based, our job at WorkSafeNB is to regulate and develop the necessary legislation to keep employees safe.

Whenever we develop new legislation, our education consultants will often provide awareness sessions around the province on the new legislation. These sessions are intended to introduce the new legislation and to explain how it will affect New Brunswick workplaces. An example of this was when our First Aid Regulation was updated.

Our mandate as an organization is to promote the awareness of new legislation and health and safety in general.

Under the IRS, it is the employer's responsibility to ensure that their employees receive the necessary training to work safely.

WorkSafeNB's role is to develop the necessary legislation, to promote this legislation through whatever means we believe will be most effective, and, through its health and safety officers, to ensure that workplaces comply with the legislation.

To use an example, a health and safety officer inspecting a workplace may notice a guard is missing. They will then write an order for a guard to be put on the machine, but will not tell the company what type of guard to install, how to install it or install it for them. The same applies to an occupational hygienist; they may require a workplace to install a ventilation system but will not tell them what type or model to install and will not do it for them - that is the company's responsibility.

As educators at WorkSafeNB, our job is to make sure employers are aware of new legislation - it is not our job to train their staff.

Every year WorkSafeNB's board of directors analyzes what is happening in health, safety and compensation in New Brunswick. In the area of accident prevention/health and safety, the goal is to continue to reduce New Brunswick's accident rates.

The board must then determine, along with the organization's senior management, what approaches and strategies they believe will be most effective in reducing accident rates.

The education consultants contribute to this goal by providing the three-day Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) workshop. They also follow up with struggling workplace JHSCs to help them develop a plan to improve their committee's function and effectiveness.

WorkSafeNB's education consultants also participate in a number of regional activities such as workshops on new H&S legislation, Progressive Agriculture Safety Days, the WorkSafeNB Annual H&S Conference, and more.

Simply put, no. It would be very difficult to try to collect the names of every health and safety provider and trainer and the services they provide, and to keep the list up-to-date since every day new businesses start up, while others may close or move.

Also, health and safety is a very complex field and the specific training needs of N.B. workplaces are extremely varied - to list the services health and safety providers could make available would be nearly impossible. That is why we encourage organizations looking for service providers to search the Internet, look through the Yellow Pages and ask your network of colleagues for recommendations or referrals.

However, to help you start your search, we have invited private sector providers to be listed on a Health and Safety Training Providers List on this portal. This list will give you an indication of a few of the many providers available to assist you.

Employers are legally obligated under section 9 of the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act to provide occupational health and safety training to their employees.

WorkSafeNB developed a Recognized Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Training Provider program for workplace training in conjunction with a committee of private sector trainers. A current list of recognized providers is available on our website.

For OHS training providers not appearing on our recognition list, it does not mean they're not “good training providers,” it may simply mean that they haven’t applied to the program.

Whether an employer hires a WorkSafeNB Recognized OHS Trainer Provider or another provider, an employer must ensure that the provider will meet their training needs by assessing those needs and matching the right trainer with the training requirements of this assessment.

For those consultants or trainers who do wish to be reviewed and recognized by WorkSafeNB as an Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Training Provider, they can apply to be recognized on our website.

E-News Sign-up

Catch up on the latest health and safety news.

Connect With Us

Call toll-free in Canada 1 800 222-9775
General Inquiries